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    Birmingham Council has requested a £2 million discretionary housing payment (DHP) fund in its own housing revenue account from Eric Pickles following a shortage after the bedroom tax.

    The council has already awarded 887 DHP payments to tenants hit by the bedroom tax. This has used up £300,000 of the £716,000 the Department for Work and Pensions has suggested the council set aside from its £3.8 million DHP allocation to help tenants affected by the under-occupation penalty.

    The council is therefore looking for other ways to help the 8,500 council tenants affected by the bedroom tax. Although the council is allowed to increase its total DHP funding pot to £9.4 million through its general fund, it says this is difficult due to budget pressures.

    Instead, it wants to set up a £2 million DHP pot in the separate HRA, but this requires a direction from the secretary of state for communities and local government. It argues that creating this fund, only available for council tenants, will take the pressure off its overall DHP allocation, making it more likely housing association tenants will benefit too.

    John Cotton, cabinet member for social cohesion and equalities at Birmingham Council, said:

    We have to be creative as we protect people from the worst effects of these vicious welfare reforms.

    The Communities and Local Government department said it welcomed the request but would not comment further.

    Source: Inside Housing


    June 07, 2013 by Support Solutions Categories: Housing And Benefits

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    Responding to the DWP Consultation:  Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing

    "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful.  I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9.  In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder."

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